SNGPL slip up, draws help Karachi Blues
A sparkling 103 from opener Naved Khan helped Karachi Whites crush second-placed Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) by nine wickets at the National Stadium. Resuming on 353, SNGPL could add only 11 as Tabish Khan accounted for the two remaining wickets in the fifth over of the day. The target of 160 wasn't going to bother Karachi much, especially after Naved began impressively. He struck 14 fours during his 144-ball stay and the 159-run opening stand with Mohtashim Ali helped seal the nine points.
Wajid Ali shone with 143 as the match between Sui Southern Gas Corporation (SSGC) and Zarai Tarqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) at the Gaddafi Stadium petered out to a draw. Resuming on 80 for 4, Wajid steadily built on his overnight score of 36. He hit 21 boundaries and starred in the sixth-wicket stand of 187 with wicketkeeper Ahmed Zeeshan (79) to end ZTBL's hopes. Abdul Razzaq and Wajahtullah Wasti picked up three wickets apiece as ZTBL had to be content with first-innings points.
Three wickets each for Sarfraz Ahmed, Kashif Raza and Azharullah ensured first-innings points for Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) in their clash against Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) in Rawalpindi. Looking to build on their overnight score of 71 for 2, KRL could manage 304. Bazid Khan scored a defiant 92, including 16 fours, but received little support as the batsmen failed to convert their starts. WAPDA finished the day on 1 for no loss, an overall lead of 159.
|Habib Bank Limited||8||6||1||0||1||0||51|
|Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited||7||6||1||0||0||0||48|
|National Bank of Pakistan||8||4||2||0||2||0||42|
|Pakistan International Airlines||7||3||2||0||2||0||33|
|Water and Power Development Authority||8*||3||1||0||3||0||27|
|Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited||7||3||2||0||2||0||27|
|Sui Southern Gas Corporation||7||1||3||0||3||0||12|
|Khan Research Laboratories||7*||1||3||0||2||0||9|
Sialkot missed out on their opportunity to dramatically cut the gap over leaders Karachi Blues (who are not playing this round) when they could only draw against Peshawar at the Jinnah Stadium. With more than a hundred overs to bowl out Peshawar in the second innings, Sialkot's bowlers could only prise out three wickets by the end of the game. Nineteen-year-old Israrullah led Peshwar's resistance with his maiden first-class century, dominating a first-wicket stand of 163 with Fawad Ali (66). He was dismissed on 136, after guiding Peshawar to a safe 269 for 2, and there was more frustration for Sialkot as Mohammad Idrees (69) and Sajjad Ahmed (76 not out) also helped themselves to half-centuries.
There was more good news for Karachi Blues as the other team which is hot on their heels, Rawalpindi, didn't just fail to secure a win but didn't even manage a point in a draw against Lahore Ravi at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground. Having already conceded the first-innings lead, Rawalpindi took nearly 30 overs to wheedle out the final three Lahore wickets during which 83 runs were added. The match looked to be heading for a dull draw when Rawalpindi moved to 105 for 2, nearly wiping out the deficit, thanks to opener Naved Malik's 70. But there was a twist in store as six wickets went down for 58 runs to add some excitement as the match wound down.
The only other match in the group which went into the fourth day was also drawn, the batsmen making merry at the Niaz Stadium in the game between Hyderabad and Faisalabad. Beginning the day at 144 for 1, the Hyderabad batsmen piled on the runs, with opener Sharjeel Khan and No. 3 Nasrullah Memon completing centuries. Each of the six Hyderabad batsmen went past 30 to help their side to 462 for 5, a lead of 298 before the match was mercifully declared a draw.